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Speed Magazine

Book Review: Geek Tragedies by Carljoe Javier

Book Review: Geek Tragedies by Carljoe Javier
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Geek is the new sexy, we say here at Speed. And the world has come to terms with the Mark Zuckerbergs inheriting the earth. But for the non-billionaire geeks, the world has stayed pretty much the same—at least, according to Geek Tragedies by Carljoe Javier.

This book is a collection of short stories from the perspective of mostly male geeks, with the exception of a model hired to be one of the girls who “prettify” comic-cons and a girl straight out of a slasher movie.

Difficulty in talking to girls seeps through the entire book. The first story, for instance, gets you settled in by bringing you to a familiar place: the MRT. It talks about a comic book dealer named Billy and how he struggles to talk to a girl he’s been ogling for months.

This difficulty is a central theme, a dilemma, a driving force for geeks in the book and probably in the real world. It’s a good thing, then, that most of the stories take us inside characters’ thoughts.  Nothing really happens on the surface, but in our heroes’ fantasy land, they have already banged Lena, Andrea, Janice, or whoever. And she’s practically begging for more.

Ah, perversion. Geeks in this book get turned on at a drop of a hat, a touch on a shoulder, or an accidental brushing of the arm. That much you have to live with if you are to read this book in full.

Once you’ve related to the first couple of stories, Javier whisks you away with tales of time traveling, the literal ghost of a girlfriend past, a possessed left hand, the undead, and a spaceship with passengers who turn into dancing zombies. These seemingly far-fetched stories are stained with realism and a hero-story dynamic that makes it easy to suspend disbelief.

Geek Tragedies may be a collection of stories, but it stars many faces of the same guy: he’s the short, pimply kid from advanced science class; he keeps to himself and goes home early to play in the arcade or with his Xbox 360; in games he is Spiderman, an NBA All-Star, a sharp-shooting soldier—always the hero. You sometimes catch him zoning out because fantasies far outweigh the joys of reality.

The short stories’ open endings give your imagination enough elbowroom. In this fantasy you hope, however unlikely, that the geek gets the girl.

Review by Elaine Cotoner 


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